Skip to main content

About this Show

PBS News Hour

News/Business. Gwen Ifill, Judy Woodruff, Jeffrey Brown. (2013) New. (CC) (Stereo)

NETWORK
PBS

DURATION
01:01:00

RATING

SCANNED IN
San Francisco, CA, USA

SOURCE
Comcast Cable

TUNER
Channel 15

VIDEO CODEC
mpeg2video

AUDIO CODEC
ac3

PIXEL WIDTH
704

PIXEL HEIGHT
480

TOPIC FREQUENCY

Egypt 15, Us 12, Warner 9, Ecuador 8, Washington 8, Syria 7, Cairo 7, U.s. 7, Kepler 6, Ben Harper 6, Brown 5, Fisa 5, Nasa 4, Michael Lemonick 4, Judy 4, United States 4, Carol Leonnig 3, Jack Germond 3, Feinstein 3, David Brooks 3,
Borrow a DVD
of this show
  PBS    PBS News Hour    News/Business. Gwen Ifill, Judy Woodruff,  
   Jeffrey Brown.  (2013) New. (CC) (Stereo)  

    August 16, 2013
    5:30 - 6:31pm PDT  

5:30pm
captioning sponsored by macneil/lehrer productions >> woodruff: fury spilled in cairo's streets again today. tens of thousands of muslim brotherhood supporters launched bitter protests, defying the government's state of emergency. good evening. i'm judy woodruff. >> brown: and i'm jeffrey brown. on the newshour tonight, the wave of violence hasn't stopped in egypt. we get the latest on the mounting death toll and the crisis gripping the country. >> woodruff: then, disclosures the u.s. national security agency violated privacy rules and overstepped its authority thousands of times.
5:31pm
margaret warner gets an update on the surveillance programs from carol leonnig of the "washington post." >> brown: the kepler space telescope, once used to search for earth-like planets, is crippled, and nasa says it can't be fixed. we explore its legacy and ask if it can still be used for scientific research. >> woodruff: under a pristine rain forest in ecuador lie more than 800 million barrels of oil. the country's president had asked the world to ante up in exchange for a promise not to drill, but that plan is being scrapped, as hari sreenivasan reports. >> brown: mark shields and david brooks analyze the week's news. >> ♪ just wishing i changed my ways... ♪ >> woodruff: and two men from two generations connected by a love of the blues are now collaborators on tour. we profile charlie musslewhite and ben harper. >> this is what the blues are supposed to do.. make you feel good. it's your comforter when you're
5:32pm
down and your buddy when you're up. all purpose music. >> woodruff: that's all ahead on tonight's newshour. >> major funding for the pbs newshour has been provided by: >> bnsf railway. >> support also comes from carnegie corporation of new york, a foundation created to do what andrew carnegie called "real and permanent good." celebrating 100 years of philanthropy at carnegie.org. >> growing up in arctic norway, >> and with the ongoing support of these institutions and foundations. and friends of the newshour. >> this program was made possible by the corporation for public broadcasting. and by contributions to your pbs station from viewers like you. thank you.
5:33pm
>> brown: they called it a "day of rage" in egypt, and it lived up to its name. the bloodletting claimed at nearly 100 more lives as thousands of islamist protesters confronted security forces. that's on top of more than 600 killed wednesday. we have two reports, beginning with jonathan rugman of independent television news, in cairo. be advised: some of the images may be disturbing. >> reporter: they chanted for the downfall of military rule, and they marched in their thousands. this was ramses square in cairo this afternoon, in a haze of teargas and the air ringing with a sound of automatic gunfire. >> fire! shots, gunfire! ( gunfire ) >> reporter: the downtown area of cairo, the biggest city in the arab world, is now as dangerous as a war zone. and as for the arab spring of 2011, well, that seems like a very long time ago.
5:34pm
some protesters threw petrol bombs towards a police station. ( gunfire ) we heard gunfire coming from the police station's direction. the demonstrators wheeled in a street stall as a barricade to keep the security forces out. they knew the police had been authorized to use live ammunition; it wasn't enough, though, to keep them away. >> we have no... no guns. we have no... we have water, only water. we have our bodies, only our bodies. >> they have stolen our votes, and we want our votes back. and we are not going to leave the streets. whatever happened before getting the democracy back. >> reporter: state television showed men with kalashnikovs amid the crowd on a nearby overpass. the deposed president's supporters were accused of doing the firing, but we couldn't tell.
5:35pm
what we saw was a stream of motorbikes acting as ambulances for the dead and injured, and angry egyptians accusing their military leader of murder. >> sisi, you are a killer! you are a killer! sisi! we will kill you! we slaught you! >> reporter: a few hundred meters from the square, the crowd was desperate to show us a mosque transformed into a hospital. everywhere we looked, frantic attempts to keep the injured alive. this is how today's so-called "march of anger" called by the muslim brotherhood has ended. we counted 12 dead during our visit, but that figure has more than doubled since. and while some helpers ferried in tanks of oxygen, others ferried the bodies away. >> we haven't expected
5:36pm
the guns again. we are trying to get our ( inaudible ), and they are shooting us again. i don't know why. >> reporter: parts of cairo are echoing with gunfire tonight, and dozens have been killed. the outside world has again called for restraint, but right now there seems no exit from egypt's deadly spiral of violence. >> woodruff: the violence also spread again to other cities in egypt. our second report is narrated by lindsey hilsum of independent television news, and, again, it contains some graphic images. >> reporter: muslim brotherhood supporters marched down the corniche in alexandria, where the movement is traditionally strong. they carried a banner of general sisi, egypt's de facto leader, with an israeli star of david. "traitor," they cried. "leave, leave," they chanted at the government, waving pictures of their ousted president mohammed mursi and shouting that
5:37pm
they were ready and willing to be martyred for their cause. >> ( translated ): the security forces are doing what the mubarak regime did: burning churches and blaming it on the brotherhood. >> reporter: earlier in the day, soldiers in armored vehicles patrolled the corniche. brotherhood supporters had burned down the judges' club overnight. they see the judiciary as enemies, too. some of the worst violence occurred in ismailia, where brotherhood supporters walked straight up to armored vehicles. the pictures are upsetting. the soldiers showed no mercy. they shot to kill. the young men braved small arms fire, shouting, "we're peaceful."
5:38pm
some ran away as bullets pursued them, but others went straight into danger to rescue their comrade. is this the face of egypt from now on? youths roaming alexandria, setting tires on fire, turning a ramshackle resort into an urban wasteland. and ismailia, the city of beauty and enchantment where the brotherhood was founded-- a war zone where citizens fight the army as the nation descends into disaster. >> brown: the day's developments prompted protests elsewhere in the muslim world, as well, against the crackdown in egypt. thousands of people gathered in istanbul, turkey, condemning the violence in cairo. they waved images of mohammed morsi and chanted their backing for the muslim brotherhood. in pakistan, crowds in karachi also criticized the egyptian regime, and they attacked what
5:39pm
they called u.s. support for "dictators in the muslim world." but in saudi arabia, king abdullah endorsed the actions of egypt's interim leaders. he called it a fight against "terrorism." we get more on the situation in egypt now from nancy youssef of mcclatchy newspapers. she's in cairo and spoke with us a short while ago via skype. well, nancy, welcome. you're under a curfew now,in, but what can you tell us the latest about what's going on around you there tonight. >> well, most of the country is relatively quiet, compared to this morning when there were street fights all over the country. and most what we're seeing now is activity in the sinai. there are some buildings on fire here. and there's a lot of anxiousness, if you will, in the country as the muslim brotherhood has said they'd like these protests to continue for another week, which portend more violence and more instability. >> brown: well, that's what i
5:40pm
wanted to ask you about. really no signs whatsoever that they're backing down at this point that they are calling for continued rallies? is there any debate within the muslim brotherhood that you can discern about what should happen next? >> no, in fact, we talked to some of the leadership within the brotherhood and they said they can't back down because to back down would be to acquiesce to military rule which, from their perspective, was one of the things that the 2011 uprising was supposed to end. and, also, frankly, they have no incentive at this point to back down in the sentence there are no negotiations going on. there's nothing for them to gain in the sense of political participation, and so for them it's all or nothing. and frankly, they have the advantage of eye lot of people, brotherhood members and sympathizers-- >> like whong they have been wronged in the last week and i think there's an interest from their perspective to take advantage of that momentum and really try to get back some of the ground that they lost on
5:41pm
july 3 when the military force, mohamed morsi, who is a muslim brotherhood member, to step down from the presidency. >> brown: what about the regime? in addition to what they're doing in the streets, how are they trying to rally public support? what kind of rhetoric are they using? >> it's incredible the amount of rhetoric they're using. there are simple things of having pictures of general cece, his posters hanging all over the country, on state television, every channel has a graphic in the corner that says egypt fighting terrorism referring to those who support mohamed morsi. there areemts coming outom themt from them saying-- purporting to show the brotherhood attacking them, setting churches ablaze, shooting on to the police. there are funerals that are televised, police officers allegedly killed by the brotherhood. and so there's a very active
5:42pm
media campaign to convince and show the public that they are in fact defending the state from people who threaten it, not the other way around. >> brown: you know, i noted in the piece you wrote tonight for your paper, you said, "for the first time friday, egyptians spoke of potential civil war and asked how their nation compared to algeria." it's really getting to that point from people you're talking to? >> yes, because there's no room for negotiation for either side. nobody is talking about finding a settlement. the negotiation effort that were led by deputy secretary of state bill burns and the european union, and local intlockatures here failed. and in those negotiations they couldn't agree on minimal things, so both sides seem to think they have the moral high ground in this battle. so you are starting to hear people refer to the other side as "them," and "us versus them."
5:43pm
people are asking, "are we going to be like algeria," which also erupted in civil war in the 90s when-- after the first round of elections, in some the islamist ones were canceled, so their islamists didn't even get to office when that war broke out. it was quite ugly and went on for years. you're starting to hear concern egypt is headed on this path between the rhetoric, the divisive nature, and the number of deaths. these are deaths that haven't been seen here ever. the deaths that we've seen in the past 72 hours are more than all those killed during the 18 days of the 2011 uprising that led to the fall o of hosni mubarak. it is spurring worry among everyday egyptians about where the country is headed. >> nancy youssef, thank you. >> thank you.
5:44pm
>> woodruff: still to come on the newshour: overreach at the n.s.a.; a planet-hunter goes dark; opening up a pristine rain forest to oil drilling; shields and brooks on the week's news; plus, harper and musslewhite on playing the blues. but first, the other news of the day. here's kwame holman. >> reporter: the number of dead in thursday's car bombing in beirut, leban, went up at least 22 today, with more than 300 wounded. it was the deadliest attack there in nearly three decades, engulfing a busy street in fire and smoke. the site is near a complex where the shiite militant group hezbollah holds rallies. today, the group's leader, sheikh hassan nasrallah, blamed sunni radicals. he pledged to double the number of hezbollah forces helping fight sunni rebels in syria. a sudden wave of refugees from syria is pouring into northern iraq. u.n. refugee officials reported today that many come from aleppo, syria's largest city, and their numbers approach 8,000 a day. they've been crossing at a new bridge over the tigris river. there already are more than
5:45pm
150,000 syrian refugees registered in iraq. wall street ended a tough week on a down note. the dow jones industrial average lost more than 30 points to close at 15,081. the nasdaq fell three points to close at 3,602. for the week, the dow lost 2.2%. the nasdaq fell 1.6%. bert lance, who served as budget director for president jimmy carter, has died. he passed away last night at his home in georgia. lance was a carter friend and political ally who headed the national bank of georgia. he went to washington in 1977 to take the budget post in the new carter administration. within a few months, he was forced to resign his position amid a banking scandal, but he ultimately was cleared of wrongdoing. bert lance was 82 years old. those are some of the day's major stories. now, back to jeff. >> brown: the national security agency's eavesdropping programs were back in the news today. margaret warner has the story.
5:46pm
>> warner: for weeks, president obama has said the n.s.a.'s information-gathering on americans was strictly limited and tightly overseen by the foreign intelligence surveillance-- or fisa-- court. but today, the "washington post" reported the spy agency has overstepped its legal authority thousands of times each year since congress expanded the agency's powers in 2008, and the fisa court's chief judge told the "post" his court doesn't have the ability to independently verify if the spy agency is complying fully with privacy-protection rules. the report was based on documents leaked by former n.s.a. contractor edward snowden. "washington post" correspondent carol leonnig worked on both stories and joins me now. carol, welcome. >> thank you, margaret. >> warner: first of all, what, sort of information has the n.s.a. been collecting and storing on americans that is beyond the scope of the law or the court rules? >> the court's rules are very strict on several things, but
5:47pm
the most important is not intruding on americans' privacy when there is no reason to suspect that they have some link to terrorist organizations or are in communication with foreign powers. and the violations that are documented in this memorandum from the n.s.a.-- remember, we're only seeing a partial window-- we're seeing what the n.s.a. headquarters reported in a year's time, not what all the other n.s.a. satellite offices offered, but in those instances they broke some of the privacy rules, and they broke some other rules that have to do with foreign intelligence gathering. the most striking probably #-r example that people are taken by is that there were a series of phone call records stored from the washington, d.c. area code-- zip code, forgive me, and this was a glitch, essentially, because a switch missed read 202 for 20, which is the country
5:48pm
code for egypt. we are allowed to collect a lot of records about foarp communications, but when you start collecting a lot of washington, d.c. phone records, it's another story. >> warner: now, had these violations been reported to the court,aise gather they are required to? >> it's incliewr from the document because it's really an n.s.a. internal audit is how many of these were reported to the court. a portion them should have been that have to do with fisa authorities, when you're looking into americans' records and we honestly don't have the rest of the chain ton what was reported. what we coknow is there are thousands of them and the obama administration has assured us and the public before this came out that it happens infrequently, once in a while. >> warner: now, equally startling was your companion poos, what the district court judge, reggie walton, said to you about the fisa court's authority when you asked him about this. explain that a little more.
5:49pm
>> so he's the chief judge of the secret spy court, the foreign intelligence surveillance court, that is supposed to be the lynchpin for the checks and balances on our government spying programs. it takes it really seriously. it does everything in a classified, secret skiff, but it's a diligent careful court. what he essentially said was there are practical limitations on what we can do and we must trust the government to report to us these violation because we can't independently, with our resources, ferret that out. >> warner: and why can't the court fer theatout, verifying the information independently? >> well, there are the obvious issues of resources. i mean, this is a court with a number of judges who all have plenty of busy dunkin' donutses themselveses -- reggie walton has a very busy docket himself-- and they have a very busy staff. soso those lawyers receive the information from the compliance
5:50pm
allegations, and they elevate to the judge if it warrant it it and that's a very practical reason why it would be impossible to be policing and looking behind the government when they report thousands of violations. >> warner: now, doesn't this compliance or violations of compliance information also have to be reported to congress, and what the department of justice? >> it does. >> warner: do they verify it? >> congress has a lot more in the way of staff for reviewing. do we know to the agree which they look over it? we don't. i did find it interesting last night when we asked senator feinstein for her comment, ands you know, senator feinstein has been a pretty arch reporter-- >> warner: a member of the intelligence committee. >> exactly, and a very strong ally for the government and n.s.a. in supporting these efforts. she said that she feels the subsector, subsection of violation thereas she doesn't
5:51pm
have authority over, she should now perhaps gain authority to review some of those that have to do with foreign communications. >> warner: now, what was the reaction, both from the administration and also on capitol hill? >> there's been a lot of reaction. initially, the white house was not commenting for our story. the n.s.a. i noticed this morning issued a statement saying these are unintentional violations, and we use this exercise always to try to improve our work, and we keep trying to improve our work so our violations will go down. on the hill, you already heard what i said about senator feinstein, but speaker pelosi said these are very disconcerting numbers and she wants to look more deeply into them. >> warner: do you think this will add fuel to the fire behind the idea in a fisa court you need opposing councilility, there needs to be somebody in there other than government lawyers? >> i think this should add fuel that we should be safely assured violations are happening and
5:52pm
oversight is robust and full. as for whether a privacy advocate should be added to the court, that's really not my role. that's one of the things that's been mentioned on the hill. there are other people who have raised really good practical questions about how in the dead of night a privacy advocate can be summoned to weigh in on whether or not some collection can take place. that's something for others to hammer out. but it clearly, these two things together, raise questions about the assurances we've received from the administration. >> warner: carol leonnig, woeb, thank you. >> thank you. >> woodruff: the u.s. space agency confirmed yesterday that its renowned kepler telescope is beyond repair, a big blow in its search for planets. the kepler was launched into an orbit around the sun in 2009. its purpose: observe stars thousands of light years from earth that may harbor earth-like planets.
5:53pm
by looking at what happens to the light emanated by the stars, it's discovered more than 3,500 possible planets-- more than 100 of which have been independently confirmed-- but it has not yet found one planet that has the right conditions for sustaining life as here on earth. nasa says the spacecraft's wheels, which are critical for keeping it pointed correctly, do not work anymore. astronomers are now assessing its legacy. michael lemonick is the author of a book about kepler called "mirror earth." he has long written about space and science for "time" magazine. michael lemonick, welcome to the "newshour." tell us a little bit more about what the original mission for the kepler was. >> original mission was to take a census, really, of a group of stars-- an average group of stars, to find out what percentage of them have planets of any kind, and what sizes those planets come in and how far they are from their stars,
5:54pm
how the temperature on the surface of those planets would be, if you were there. >there. >> warner: and why is that important? and how much of that mission got done? >> first of all, it got a huge amount done. it's important because the reason we look for planets around the stars at all is because we're interested whether there is life elsewhere in the universe, and the best bet for life, we think, would be on a planet just like earth-- that is, about the same size as earth, orbiting a star like sun, and since we know there's a planet like that already in the universe, and life is here, we want to look for a planet like that elsewhere as the best bet for finding life. >> woodruff: what happened to the telescope? we mentioned the wheels not working. was this something they expected would go wrong? >> well, so, these wheels helped the telescope point very
5:55pm
precisely at the stars. you have to hold the telescope very steady in order to detect the very faint fluctuations in light that when a planet goes in front of the star so it dims just a tiny bit. and the wheels help keep it pointed incredibly precisely. they have had four of these reaction wheels that the satellite went up with. one of them failed last year. another one failed last spring. and with only two wheels still working you can't point with the accuracy that you need. so the telescope is still in perfect working order. it just can't aim in the direction that it's supposed. >> woodruff: michael lemonick, it must be incredibly frustrating to the nasa scientists who put so much effort into this. how are they taking it? >> well, they're actually taking it pretty well. when kepler was first approved in 2000, it was approved for a four-year mission. that's what the scientists asked for and nasa said, yes, you can have the four years and they've
5:56pm
completed the four years. in 2012, the scientists said we could do better science if we had another several years and they got another three and a half. the first primary phase of the mission has been completed, and only the first two years worth the data from those four years have been analyzed yet, and the numbers you quoted in the introduction, all those planets it's found already, that's just from the first two years of data so they've got two more years' worth it probe through, many more discoveries to make. all that is lack signature ability to go even deeper and look even further. so they're disappointed, of course. they would have liked to have done more with this amazing satellite, but they're incredibly satisfied with what they found already. >> woodruff: in terms of adding to our understanding of space, you're saying that is significant. >> this is very significant. what they've done in the survey is discovered what they are convinced are more than 3,000 planets. they haven't all been confirmed
5:57pm
yet but most of them will be and what they see is that if you look out around average stars you will see some planets, like jupiter-- big, gassy, giant planets-- that would be very inhospitable to life. more, smaller planets like neptune, still not very hospitable. but as you get smaller and smaller and closer to earth in size, there are more and more planets. and if they extrapolate from what they've seen, one estimate, one low-ball estimate is that in the milky way there would be 17 billion planets with just the right conditions for life, and that's a low estimate. there are probably more than that. we didn't know any of this before kepler. now we know that earth-like planetplanets are almost certaiy very common in the milky way. 15 years ago, we didn't even know there were planets at all around other stars. now we know earths are very common in the milky way. >> woodruff: what do they believe it's going to take to find out where those other
5:58pm
earths are? >> well, so kepler's primary mission is often misunderstood. it wasn't specifically to find those planets in particular. it was to get an idea of how common they are. that's the basic mission. so if it found that earth-like planets are very rare, that tells astronomers, okay, maybe it's not worth going out now and trying to find specific ones. what it's found instead is that earth-like planets are probably very common. they're probably plenty of them reasonably close to us, and now we can start targeting, with new telescopes, targeting stars closer to earth, than the kepler stars which are quite far away, looking for those planets, and ultimately, with more powerful telescopes, looking at their atmospheres and services to try and determine whether there's really life there. it's one thing to say, yes, this is a good place where life could exist. we want to be able to say, yes, life does exist on these planets. and that is now not a crazy thing to try and do, thanks to kepler. we now know it's not a quixotic
5:59pm
endeavor. >> woodruff: that is pretty exciting. michael lemonick, thank you very much. >> i think so. thank you. >> brown: and we turn now to ecuador, where one of the world's most biodiverse places is under new threat. the nation's president announced last night that he will allow oil drilling in the country's yasuni national park. hari sreenivasan has the back story behind the decision. our report is produced in partnership with the "miami herald." >> sreenivasan: ecuador's yasuni national park is teeming with plant and animal life. according to scientists, any football field-sized area of yasuni has more species of trees than the u.s. and canada combined. the park also includes 121 different species of reptiles, 150 species of frogs, 596 species of birds and 187 species of mammals.
6:00pm
max snodderly is a professor of visual neuroscience at the university of texas in austin. >> this park has ten species of monkeys, and so it's an opportunity to compare animals that are in the same environment. >> sreenivasan: he works on this platform in yasuni's canopy. >> one of the things that this area is known for is the species richness and the incredible bio- diversity that's here. so, depending on where you are, there's a different ecology, but this one has a particularly rich one. >> sreenivasan: but yasuni may soon look very different. it's believed that 846 million barrels of oil lie beneath the park, 20% of ecuador's reserves, worth $7.2 billion. to protect this square of wilderness, ecuador's government
6:01pm
presented a bold plan in 2007. president rafael correa asked foreign governments, civil society groups and others to give ecuador $3.6 billion, about half the estimated value of the oil beneath yasuni over 12 years. in return, the president offered to save the park from exploration. the effort, however, fell short. despite agreeing with the goal many researchers and environmentalists concede that ecuador's government was ill equipped to save the park on its own. more than a quarter of ecuadorians live below the poverty line. average daily income is just $26. >> this is like a very poor family trying to protect the family jewels. and in the mean time, most of the people in the family are starving to death. >> sreenivasan: david romo co- directs the tipitini biodiversity station, a base for sentists to work in the yasuni.
6:02pm
another scientist, terry erwin, has been coming to yasuni for 20 years. he's a top entomologist at the smithsonian museum of natural history. >> one of the really amazing things about what we're collecting here is the fact that 85% of the species from the canopy in our samples-- and we now have about 11 million specimens from all of our canopy work-- about 85% are new species to science. >> sreenivasan: he also studies the effects of a small road built on the edge of yasuni in 1994 to allow oil companies into the area. >> the road is actually a clearing that's 121 kilometers long. the local indigenous folks eat the bush meat forever, as long as they've been here, and now they had a game trail that was 27 meters wide and 121 kilometers long and they just hunted it out.
6:03pm
when we first, started you had five species of monkeys, and you could see least three species every day. the abundance was big. but after three years of work, there were no monkeys whatsoever in my plot. >> sreenivasan: the park is also home to four indigenous tribes which are under threat, as well. >> ( translated ): my grandfather in 1955 killed five missionaries in the river querarey when they came to evangelize and change our lives, because our history is that we live like nomads. >> sreenivasan: ramon enquirr is a leader of the native hoarani tribe. his community abandoned the nomadic life after the road came. they've built houses and taken up farming. >> ( translated ): we're thinking, because we've lost a lot of our identity. later, a kid here says the typical clothing is embarrassing. the grandparents are willing to teach, but the youth don't want to learn because this world has changed. it's a world dominated by the oil companies, because the oil company fascinates them because they get clothing, they get food for free. and all that dominates.
6:04pm
that's the part we've lost. >> sreenivasan: but the smithsonian's erwin thinks that oil extraction, if done correctly, can co-exist with yasuni's indigenous population and biodiversity. >> i think, in all of my work throughout the amazon, in peru, bolivia and brazil and here in ecuador, the lesson that i've learned is that if the government makes strict rules about how the oil companies behave, you can extract oil and save the bioda. but if you just open it up to the choice of the oil company who will do things economically for the company and their investors and so forth, it's not going to work. but if you have regulations and they have to follow, then they get the oil, the economy of the country benefits and biodivirsity is still here. >> sreenivasan: while blaming the international community for
6:05pm
not coming through with funding in a national address last night, president correa tried to play down the potential impact of oil drilling on the park, saying it would affect only 0.1% of the yasuni basin. some environmental advocates don't buy that assessment, however. andrew miller is with the environmental group amazon watch. >> that is kind of an extraordinary claim. even the very slight environmental impacts can destroy entire species. it's also the headwaters of the amazon. and so, any oil drilling that happens and inevitable oil spills all flow downstream and end up in the amazon. >> sreenivasan: it's still too early to know exactly what the impact of drilling will be in yasuni or if it will remain one of the most pristine, diverse places on earth. >> brown: and you can see more stories on yasuni written by the "miami herald's" jim wyss on our web page.
6:06pm
>> woodruff: and to the analysis of shields and brooks, syndicated columnist mark shields and "new york times" columnist david brooks. welcome, gentlemen. together again! so we-- we start with a pretty tough story, mark, and that is what's happened this week in egypt, terrible turn of events, huge death tolls, so many more people wounded. what do you make of what's happened there, and what do you make of president obama's handling of it? >> well, the context of it, judy, is the egyptian military more than simply restoring order has gone to a brutal extent of punishing and killing its opposition. and i think that they're aware of the fact that there are very few repercussions, certainly based on syria, for brutalization of civilian
6:07pm
population, that intervention is unlikely from the civilized world, that the united states, having been through a decade of two unhappy and ultimately unsuccessful wars to establish democracy in iraq and afghanistan, have no will, no appetite. so it's a terrible situation. i think the president's options are quite limited, and the question is, is he seen as measured or passive? i don't think cutting off money at this point, which i think probably makes sense morally and ethically, the $1.3 billion, is going to have any effect. they can get it from the united arab emirates, saudi arabia. there are a number of countries who would like to see the muslim brotherhooded put on the defensive and kept in place. >> your options are always limited in the short term. the effect you can have on a culture and climate is much
6:08pm
bigger than the effect you can have on a specific politician. i sort of appreciate some sense of caution. we don't really know what the military is trying to do there. are they just trying to eliminate the muslim brotherhood? that's bound not to work and breed counter-terrorism. are they simply trying to set up a situation where a muslim brotherhood insurgency is crushed before it gets to start a civil war? or are they trying to really have a period of monstrous chaos to establish red lines so the muslim brotherhood goes back in the cave and they can reestablish their military rule which they had for the past several decades. so if they're going all out, that's going to counter-balance, and be stuck in terrorism. if this is a stage they're strategically thinking their way through to get to new lines, maybe we react differently. the question is what do they want in the long term? i respect the administration for trying to figure out what this is all about. i really don't think we know yet. >> woodruff: what about the critics saying the president, yes, the options were limited, but, mark, the united states
6:09pm
stands for certain principles and the u.s. doesn't look like it stands for anything right now. >> look, let's be very blunt about it, egypt, we revere sadat's memory particularly for the courage he showed as far as israel is concerned and the camp david accords, but egypt has been essentially a military dictatorship since king farouk. there's no democratic tradition. there's no respect for minority rights. there's no art of compromise. there's no pluralistic impulse. that, judy, took us in this country, it took us 100 years and a self war to accept diversity and grant rights. it took us 150 years before we allowed women to vote. so the idea that this is going to happen-- we go from mubarak to a democratic well-being in 24
6:10pm
months, you know, is beyond unrealistic. but i think the president is right. he was right yesterday to emphasize that and to emphasize that it took us a long time to get there. i mean, we weren't born as a fulfilled society, a complete society. >> would say we understood, even from 1787, that the people who lost the election got to have a role in the society, which doesn't seem to be respected, at least among the elites, in egypt. i would say we have two things to worry about. the first is we should not be allowing people to massacre their own citizens and we've allowed it to happen in are you wand and syria and syria sent a message, this works. you can do it. nobody else will do anything. when we decide not to go into syria, we have to be aware of the downstream effects that will have. the second thing is we should be promoting democracy but only in ways that are fitting that society. if parts of that society, as in egypt are, extremely sophisticated about democratic rights and understand things, we
6:11pm
should be giving them legal help to draw constitution. if parts of the society don't get the basic conceptes of legitimacy, we should be vehicle national institutes for democracy and other things to give them that. our emphasis should be on the idea, not the implementation. our ability to influence another country's implementation is always going to be limited. >> woodruff: but for now, it sounds like you're both saying, the u.s. has no choice but to make statements and that's it. >> yeah, i would-- i would be a little more averse to cutting off aid. just for-- if only to clean our own hands. it won't have any effect. believe me, the saudis will gladly give them a billion-3 of three. >> i agree, but both sides are proving their bona fides. the brotherhood did it when they were in power and continue to say the lack of support from the united states, morsi-- they earn their bona fides by opposing the united states, and that's exactly what the hanta-- and it's a hanta, the coup, that's
6:12pm
what they do, the generals do. i just don't see any impulse to compromise at this point in the society. >> woodruff: on either side. >> i want to be careful we don't draw a moral equivalency here. the military junta, what they're doing is monstrous, no question about that. if there's going to be any stable, gradual course tshedz even a civilized society it's not going to be the muslim brotherhood. it's more likely the military who will get them on that path. they're being attacked by the government. that are going off and killing cops and burning churches. that's a different order of dysfunction. >> and i'm not in any way rationalalizing that. they've had two elections. they've won both of them. we can't all of a sudden said sai because we didn't like the results, we didn't like the results in guatemala in 1954, we didn't like the results in iran with mosadek--
6:13pm
>> sometimes anti-democrats win elections. >> that's right, but it does come back to values as well. >> woodruff: let me bring you both back to the united states. the state of north carolina passed what's called a voter i.d. law. mark and david, the first state to do this since the supreme court struck down part of the voting rides law. so this is a state that is republican for the first time completely, the governor, the legislature, in decades, critics say this is really meant to cut down african american turnout. how do you see it? >> i-- judy, north carolina always held itself out as being different. three great american statesmen of the 20 century, terry sanford, governor, jim hunt, the premiere education governor, sam irvin, the great senator of watergate. it wasn't alabama. in wasn't mississippi. it was not too-- it was a
6:14pm
different kind of state. this is punitive. it's vindictive. it's vengeful. it's just a way-- there is no evidence of any voter fraud of anybody using somebody else's identification to vote. if there were, you could say it's an over-reaction. this is a created fabrication to basically discourage, if not make impossible, voting by groups, people who belong to groups who don't ordinarily vote republican, who vote democratic. 56% of the people in north carolina voted on election day. early voting rather. there will ly voting. it's just an attempt to make it difficult to vote. >> i guess i sort of agree. i would say two things. first, one of the great stories in american history and in the south in the last couple of years, couple of decades, is the gradual empowerment and franchisement of african americans. i think one's basic attitude is
6:15pm
you don't want to be on the wrong side of that story. so i do think if you're supporting this, you're putting yourself on the wrong side of that story. having said that, do i think it's a huge deal? here we actually have academic research on this. there are a number of states that have these laws on the books. to what extent does it diminish voting? and the studies suggest either very little or not at all-- not statistically significantly. i think if you looked at the data, you would say in some states it brings democratic total vote down 0 .4-- >> woodruff: by acting stricter rules. >> by adding stricter rules. it has some effect, no huge effect. i agree with mark, there's no real cause for it. it doesn't have a huge negative effect or positive effect but it looks morally wrong to me, i guess i'd say. >> those studies were done after 2012, when effort, the all-out effort by a very well financed campaign to get people to the
6:16pm
polls. this is-- this is a way of not encouraging people to vote, not enlarging the franchise. >> it's really popular. if if you ask people on the street should you have to show aide d. to vote. and people say you don't do that? >> same-day registration, they prohibit-- it goes to all sort of-- individual voter, i can challenge david's voting now if i'm a registered voter. this is beyond just making it more difficult to have a voter i.d. >> woodruff: it's being challenged and we'll watch it. less than a minute. one of the great reporters of the last generation, jack germond, passed away this week. you both knew him. >> jack germond was an american original. he broke all the rules. i mean, in the sense of, you know, in a generation now of people who get up and only
6:17pm
vegetarian and run 18 miles a day, jack drank too much. he ate too much. he was a great reporter. he did it 52 weeks a year. he believed that politics mattered. he believed that public policy mattered, and he liked the people in politics. he loved the rogues and rakes. he liked edwin edwards, enjoyed george wallace but also liked howard baker. he liked kevin white. he was just really awfully good at it, before there were cell phones, judy, before there was any kind of background checks, jack germond did it, and he cared about it, and he was good at it. >> woodruff: he had a lot of joy. >> it is worth pointing out, it's impossible to remember for young people today the mclauklin group, how central that was. he created this whole political talk-- for better or worse sometimes-- that show rivetted and he was almost a soap opera character in the show as the core old-time reporter. >> woodruff: he had a lot of
6:18pm
heart. >> he did. >> woodruff: david brooks, mark shields, thank you. >> thank you, judy. >> brown: and finally tonight, living and playing the blues, then and now. ♪ they're from two generations, two different backgrounds and parts of the country. but 69-year-old charlie musselwhite and 43-year-old ben harper have a lot in common-- most of all, a love of the blues. ♪ their recent album, "get up", and their ongoing tour show off different shades of the blues, including country acoustical and chicago electric, and make a case for the music as a living, renewable tradition. on a tour stop in washington recently, musselwhite, who was
6:19pm
born in mississippi and raised in memphis, told us it started early. >> the environment i grew up in, there was all kinds of music: hillbilly music and rockabilly, great gospel radio-- memphis had probably the best gospel radio-- and blues. and i liked any music that was from the heart, that had feeling, but blues sounded like how i felt. >> brown: what's that mean? how did you feel? >> well, i was a lonely kid. i didn't have any brothers and sisters. my dad had left and my mom worked. i was alone a lot. and blues is my comforter. >> brown: for ben harper, music was in the blood. his grandparents and parents all played and performed, and the family has owned a music store in claremont, california, since 1958. >> my roots were always in the home.
6:20pm
my mom used to play in bands. she's a musician, great singer and picker. and my dad was a percussionist. and so, they'd have people over every night making music. and they'd put us to bed around 8:00. and then i'd wait until they were really cooking, and then, you know, where they wouldn't be watching for me, i'd sneak out of my room and sit under... hide under the piano bench. ♪ >> brown: harper has gone on to become a leading singer, songwriter and guitarist with a string of albums and two grammy awards. ♪ charlie musselwhite's musical education-- and what an education it was!-- came in the 1960s in chicago, where he went as a young man to look for a factory job. he wasn't even thinking of a career as a musician, just enjoying the local blues scene with the likes of muddy waters and elmore james. he did know how to play the harmonica, though, and was ready when he got the chance to use it. >> sitting in wasn't unusual. i mean, these clubs were open to 4:00 or 5:00 in the morning, and
6:21pm
that's a lot of time to kill. so, a guy like muddy would have people sitting in all the time. a lot of musicians hung out there. they would sit in or even, like, a housewife from down the street would get up and sing a song, or the bartender might get up and play guitar or something. it was real casual, but it was strictly adults. there was nobody my age in these clubs, and there was nobody white in these clubs. so, a young whippersnapper like me getting up on the stage to play was real unusual. >> brown: accepted by muddy waters, musselwhite started to get invitations to play and record with others, one of a handful of white musicians in such exalted blues company. ben harper heard these recordings as a child and says he admired the music and the man. >> charlie transcends race in a way that i've never witnessed. and i've been... being of a mixed race, i've had a
6:22pm
heightened racial awareness. i've had to. and i've never seen anybody who just breaks down those barriers in the way charlie does. >> brown: and what explains that? >> if i could explain it, i'd market it because it is so special. he renders a room culturally neutral. he just makes everybody at ease with who they are. >> brown: of course, it's what musselwhite does with his harmonica that most attracted ben harper and so many others over the years who've asked the master to collaborate. i think people look at a harmonica and say it's a little instrument. >> it's a toy! >> brown: it's a toy, yeah, for some people. how do you think of it? >> i try not to think about it as an instrument. i just think about the feeling, the sound i hear inside and how to get that out. i'm not thinking about, well, it's got ten holes and these reeds go this way and all these
6:23pm
limitations. i just try to take what i feel inside and push it through there and give it to you. >> okay, now i've got to jump in because, you know, i'm a music store brat. i mean, i grew up taking violins apart and putting them back together and re-hairing violin bows and such. i wish we had an open harmonica here because you take off that faceplate of a harmonica, there is a lot going on in there! i mean, they are so complex. ♪ >> brown: ben harper and charlie musselwhite say they've been talking about recording and playing together for more than a decade. one thing or another got in the way, until now. >> every once in a while, you time it right and you can grab that thing. you know, you got to reach out and push, push and this was like a moment to grasp, and we were able to grab a hold of it. >> playing with ben is just fun. it makes me feel good. and this is what the blues is supposed to do: make you feel good. it's your comforter when you're down and your buddy when you're up. it's "all purpose" music.
6:24pm
>> all purpose music," that may be the next record title. that's good. "all purpose blues." ♪ >> brown: the musselwhite/harper tour continues this summer and into the fall. >> woodruff: again, the major developments of the day. muslim brotherhood supporters in egypt staged mass protests against a crackdown by the military-backed government. nearly 100 people died in new confrontations. and there was word the u.s. national security agency routinely exceeds its legal authority for surveillance. >> brown: and online, we follow up on our story on "artist entrepreneurs" with your stories. kwame holman has more. >> reporter: it's a tough job market for graduates of any major, but see how these virtuosos have put their art degrees to good use. and still looking for summer
6:25pm
reading suggestions? peek into gwen ifill's beach bag find her recommendations on our homepage. all that and more is on our web site, newshour.pbs.org. judy? >> woodruff: and that's the newshour for tonight. but before we go, a reminder: the news doesn't stop on friday, and soon neither will the newshour. starting in september, join our own hari sreenivasan every saturday and sunday for a 30-minute look at the latest news from around the nation and the world. the all-new pbs newshour weekend premieres on saturday, september 7. for more information, visit pbs.org. i'm judy woodruff. >> brown: and i'm jeffrey brown. "washington week" can be seen later this evening on most pbs stations. we'll see you online and again here monday evening. have a nice weekend. thanks for joining us. good night. >> major funding for the pbs newshour has been provided by: ♪ ♪
6:26pm
moving our economy for 160 years. bnsf, the engine that connects us. >> and with the ongoing support of these institutions and foundations. and... >> this program was made possible by the corporation for public broadcasting. and by contributions to your pbs station from viewers like you. thank you. captioning sponsored by macneil/lehrer productions captioned by media access group at wgbh access.wgbh.org
6:27pm
6:28pm
6:29pm
6:30pm
>> you are watching me "journal" on dw. >> thanks for joining us. coming up in the show, protesters defy the curfew in egypt. dozens are dead after another day of violence across the country. >> workers from the americana mine in south africa remember the victims and the 34 miners shot dead a year ago. >> ecuador gives exploration the go ahead and part of the amazon rain forest. we explain why. we explain why.